Triangle Chapter — Picture Creek Barrens, Butner, NC — May 26, 2017

Today (May 26), seven Carolina Butterfly Society members — Lori Carlson, John Jarvis, Roger Shaw, Carla Oldham, Gene Schepker, Lois Schneider, and I — walked the powerline clearing at the Picture Creek Barrens natural area near Butner looking for butterflies and wildflowers. Of course, we didn’t have to sweat out finding the plants, as I knew where they were. I was quite surprised that many dozens of Marshallia legrandii were already in bloom! The weather wasn’t as sunny as predicted, though we did get about 60% sun, and a breezy but mild day. Here are the results:

Pipevine Swallowtail 12 excellent number; interestingly, the males were fresh and the females worn
Zebra Swallowtail 5 surprising numbers; very long tails (second brood just beginning)
Black Swallowtail 5 all males
E. Tiger Swallowtail 7
Spicebush Swallowtail 2 low
Orange Sulphur 3
Cloudless Sulphur 4
Sleepy Orange 2
Juniper Hairstreak 5 good number; mostly nectaring on patches of wild quinine
Gray Hairstreak 2
E. Tailed-Blue 25
Summer Azure 1 low
Variegated Fritillary 2
Great Spangled Fritillary 35
Pearl Crescent 3 probably just beginning the second brood
Question Mark 4 plus a couple of anglewings that got away
American Lady 25 variety of fresh and worn ones
Common Buckeye 15
Red-spotted Purple 3
Appalachian Brown 1 quite a surprise here, in upland hardwood forest edge, though sedges are present
Little Wood-Satyr 18 couldn’t find Carolina, Gemmed, etc.
Monarch 1 not surprisingly, at a stand of common milkweed not quite in bloom
Silver-spotted Skipper 25
Southern Cloudywing 1 low; often on spring visits the two cloudywings are similar in numbers
Northern Cloudywing 16 excellent number; some fresh but some worn
Horace’s Duskywing 3 two fresh males and one female
Swarthy Skipper 12
Crossline Skipper 9 low; on some late spring trips in past years, the most common butterfly
Southern Broken-dash 1 fresh
Little Glassywing 20 good number
Zabulon Skipper 4 worn males
Dun Skipper 4

32 species (at the tally at the end, we had 31, but I had forgotten to write down Common Buckeye, Glad I caught it now!)

Harry LeGrand